Court ruling returns land to Keköldi indigenous group

September 18, 2011

An administrative court in Goicecoechea last week ordered the government to seize thousands of hectares of land occupied by non-indigenous people in the Keköldi Indigenous Reserve in Talamanca, near the popular Caribbean beach destination of Puerto Viejo, and return it to the indigenous Bribrís, the daily La Nación reported.

Judges ruled that the Agricultural Development Institute (IDA) and the National Commission on Indigenous Affairs must expropriate or relocate non-indigenous people that currently live on the land.

The legal representative of IDA, Maribelle Aguilar, told La Nación that she would appeal the ruling. Danilo Chaverri, a lawyer for the indigenous group, described the ruling as “historic.”

The Keköldi reserve was created by a presidential decree in 1977, following the passage of the Indigenous Law, but underwent government modifications in 1997 and 2001.

The law says that land and property on indigenous reserves can only be traded amongst indigenous people. All transactions occurring before the law was implemented in 1977 are void.

“This is the first time a court told the state that the entire reservation must be in possession of the indigenous people, and the state must begin the process of expropriation and eviction,” Chaverri told La Nación.

Cynthia Abarca, president of the Administrative Contention Court, which ruled on the case, told La Nación that “the obligation to recover land in indigenous territories that are not being occupied by indigenous people” is sanctioned by international agreements such as Convention No. 169 of the International Labor Organization.

“The lands have a special meaning for indigenous groups because they are places they consider sacred,” Chaverri told the news agency EFE.

Chaverri told EFE that he has submitted two similar complaints seeking the recovery of land in Cabécar and Bajó Chirripó, both in Limón province, but they have not yet been resolved. The indigenous in Keköldi are currently awaiting a ruling from the court in a bid to reclaim Playa Cocles on the Caribbean coast.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)
Pic of the Day
86 views
Pic of the Day
86 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 18, 2019

Isla Nublar, the setting for much of the "Jurassic Park" series, is unfortunately not a real Costa Rican island. Cocos…

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety
Costa Rica
12 views
Costa Rica
12 views

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety

AFP and The Tico Times - April 18, 2019

The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it places responsibility with the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro for…

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat
Latin America
30 views
Latin America
30 views

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat

AFP and The Tico Times - April 17, 2019

Venezuela withdrew the diplomatic credential from the Costa Rican chargé d'affaires on Tuesday in retaliation for the country’s acceptance of…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!